Anti-neuronal autoimmunity may cause cognitive impairment that meets the criteria for dementia. Objective. Our aim was to detect the incidence and clinical features of autoimmune encephalitis imitating clinical findings of primary dementia disorders and to delineate the validity of anti-neuronal antibody screening in dementia patients. Methods. Fifty consecutive patients fulfilling the clinical criteria for primary dementia, 130 control patients, and 50 healthy controls were included. Their sera were investigated for several ion channel and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies by a cell-based assay, radioimmunoassay, and ELISA, as required. Results. Sixteen patients satisfying dementia criteria had atypical findings or findings suggestive of autoimmune encephalitis. N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibody was detected in a patient with dementia, Parkinsonism, and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) fulfilling the criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). One control patient with bipolar disease displayed low anti-GAD antibody levels. Conclusions. Our study showed for the first time the presence of parkinsonism and RBD in an anti-NMDAR encephalitis patient mimicking DLB. Although autoimmune encephalitis patients may occasionally present with cognitive decline, most dementia patients do not exhibit anti-neuronal antibodies, suggesting that routine analysis of these antibodies in dementia is not mandatory, even though they display atypical features. Copyright © 2014 Giovanni A.